Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Smaller Seats

I swear that airline seats are getting smaller. I didn’t take a tape measure to it, but the last seat I sat in was one of the most uncomfortable seats I’ve ever had.

Now, I travel an awful lot and I thought I had seen the worst. I have flown on Transport Air Portugal (Take Another Plane) and even British West Indies Airlines (Be We Inda Air?). But I suffered this latest indignity with good old British Airways and paid BA prices for the privilege too. I am not getting any taller and thanks to my significant other and her constant diet plans, my weight has leveled off too. I can’t be imagining this.

No, this is real. There were 10 seats across the row I was in. 4 in the middle and 3 on each side. The two aisles were so narrow that you couldn’t even stand sideways to let a service cart pass you by. You had to get personal with some stranger just so you could get to the bathroom. You should sit next to someone you like too. We discovered that by leaning against each other you could prop each other while you tried to sleep. When you’ve got so little personal space you hate to give up any of it.

The degree the seats could be adjusted seemed to be highly variable. This seat I had was one of the upright models. I could almost hear a crusty stiff upper lip saying "Straighten up young man, this is British Airways after all."

Some of the seats had a lot of lean in them. Like the guy in front of me for instance. He leaned his seat right back into my salad. It was just after I put the salad dressing on it. I was looking forward to that salad. It was most appetizing thing on offer.

He wasn’t done either. After dinner was cleared away he put his seat ALL THE WAY BACK. We wound up reading the same book. Mine. It worked out all right. My reading light wasn’t working so he switched his on for us. We got to know each other quite well actually. If the blood tests come out all right and our families agree, we’ll be married the week after next.

Looking back at it a day later, it wasn’t all bad. After all, the plane took off on-time and landed on-time too. So the suffering didn’t actually last any longer than advertised. The airline food was actually better than the restaurant at the airport we departed. The on-board service was better too. The beer was free and was even cold. And the stewardess in our section will even attend the wedding. She was muttering the old line, always a bridesmaid, never a bride, as we left.